(Reuters) – Target Corp reported a 17.2% increase in comparable sales for the holiday season Wednesday as its online sales more than doubled, thanks to faster deliveries and increased demand for homeware, electronics. and beauty products.
Much of the sales growth has come from Same-day deliveries and in-store pickup services, areas where the Minneapolis-based retailer invested heavily during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pocket retailers like Target and Walmart Inc are using the outage caused by the health crisis as an opportunity to gain market share from smaller brick-and-mortar rivals struggling to survive the impact of the pandemic.
Target sold 150 million items in December through services that allow customers to collect their online purchases from stores, almost four times more than in the same period last year.
The surge in sales came as retailers rolled out their promotions for the holiday season to avoid crowding in stores, instead of focusing on a few specific days.
In a blog post, Target said Wednesday that it will keep its nearly 1,900 U.S. stores closed during Thanksgiving this year, repeating the measure it had taken in 2020.
“Retailers are even less likely to return to the big Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales mine even when the pandemic is over,” said Neil Saunders, CEO of GlobalData Retail.
Target said the sales performance in January was strong. Analysts on average expect comparable sales for the fourth quarter, which includes January, to increase by 12.7%.
However, Gordon Haskett analysts said the retailer likely missed the more optimistic expectations of 18% -19% growth, which is closer to what Target had seen in the third quarter.
Shares in the company, which have gained around 60% in the past 12 months, are down 1% in early trading.
Reporting from Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur